Domaine d’Esperance 14 Year 1998

Domaine d’Esperance 98

Paid: $95 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Domaine d’Esperance

Region: Bas Armagnac, France

49% ABV

Aged For: 14 years

Grapes: Baco 22 A

Cask Type: French Gascon Oak, medium toast

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No


Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Oak, sweet grapes, cinnamon, butterscotch, baking spices

Mouthfeel: Supple

Palate/Taste: A nice dry sweetness, raisins, toasted oak, coffee, and rye spice

Finish: Medium warmth and length, dry port wine, cloves oak, fig, and chocolate

Thoughts: This is one of the younger Armagnacs I have tried that would appeal to a bourbon drinker, while still being very distinctly a brandy.

Score: 83 out of 100

Plantation XO 20th Anniversary

Plantation XO 20th Anniversary

Price: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Sourced / Pierre Ferrand

Region: Barbados

40% ABV

Distillate: Molasses

Aged For: Blend of rums from 10 to 25 years

Cask Type:  New white oak, ex-bourbon, and Cognac casks

Chill Filtered: Undisclosed

Additives used: Yes


Color: Chestnut

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Molasses, oak, chocolate, toasted nuts, brown sugar, and vanilla

Mouthfeel:  Light bodied

Palate/Taste: Coconut, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, oak, and fruit

Finish: Light warmth and length, Cola, cream, vanilla, caramel, and sugar

Thoughts: On its own it’s a decent sipping rum, but very sweet and not overly complex. I have noticed it pairs very well with cigars however.
Score: 80 out of 100

Laphroaig Cairdeas 2013 Port Wood Finish

Laphroaig Cairdeas Port

 

Price: Discontinued

Distilled/Owned by: Laphroaig / Beam Suntory

Region: Islay

51.3% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon, finished in port casks

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No


 

Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Earthy chocolate covered bacon, subtle port notes, oak, smoke, and caramel sauce

Feel: Medium to full body

Taste: Grape, chocolate, leather, peat smoke, vanilla, oak, and pepper

Finish: Medium warmth and length, earth, port, chocolate, oak, more smoke and less fruit than the palate

Thoughts: While I enjoyed it, its not my favorite version of Cairdeas, I would have liked a bit stronger of a port cask influence on it.
Score: 85 out of 100

Review: Ezra Brooks

Paid: $12 for 1 liter

Distilled/Owned by: Heaven Hill / Luxco

Region: Kentucky

45% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Mashbill: Undisclosed

Cask Type: New charred oak

Chill Filtered: Charcoal filtered

Color: Light amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Light caramel, corn, oak, vanilla. This one is really simple, nothing offense to it, just plain Jane

Feel: Light to medium body

Taste: Vanilla, corn, nutmeg, oak, and light hints of pepper. Again, nothing complex about it, but nothing offensive either.

Finish: Light to medium warmth, vanilla, caramel, honey, and spices.

Thoughts: For $12 you could do a hell of a lot worse, at the same time the old 7 year was $20 and was one of my go to every day bourbons and this is nowhere near that. Simple, and easy.

Score: 70 out of 100

Berneroy XO Calvados

Berneroy XO Calvados

Price: $30 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Berneroy

Region: Normandy, France

40% ABV

Aged For: NAS, XO, Minimum 6 Years

Cask Type: “Seasoned” Barrels

Distillate: 180+ types of apples

Chill Filtered: Undisclosed

Color Added: Undisclosed


Color: Tarnished gold

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Cinnamon, apple, nougat, floral, and sugary fruits

Mouthfeel: Light bodied

Palate/Taste: Apples, vanilla, gentle plum, fig, floral, cider

Finish: Light warmth, short in length, apple, cinnamon, with pear, orchard fruit, and gentle oak

Thoughts: The flavors are solid, but the palate and finish are too gentle and weak for my personal preference.

Score: 74 out of 100

High West Rendezvous Rye Campfire Finish

HW RR Select

 

Price: $80 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: MGP & Barton / Constellation Brands

Region: America

50% ABV

Aged For: Minimum 5 Years, finished additional 2.2 Years

Mashbill: 95% rye, 5% barley, & 53% rye, 37% corn, 10% barley, & 80% rye, 10% corn, 10% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak, finished in barrels that held High West Campfire

Chill Filtered: No


 

Color: Copper

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, oak, rye, sharp sweetness, heather

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Rye, cinnamon, clove, tobacco, pepper, coriander, fennel, oak, vanilla

Finish: Medium warmth and length, honey, vanilla, oak, and rye spices

Thoughts: The campfire barrel really mellowed the rye out, without sacrificing flavor. Still very much a rye, but a nice change of pace.
Score: 82 out of 100

Review: Don Papa

Price: $30 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Bleeding Heart Rum Company

Region: Phillipines

40% ABV

Distillate: Molasses

Aged For: Up to 7 Years (No definitive age)

Cask Type: Oak Casks

Chill Filtered: Yes

Additives used: Yes


Color: Amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Birch beer, vanilla sweetener, orange cream sickle, sugar, and oak

Mouthfeel: Syrupy

Palate/Taste: Vanilla, flat root beer, cream soda, sweetener

Finish: Short and light warmth, cane sugar, syrup, and lollipops

Thoughts: This baby is loaded up with some type of nonsense and sweetened beyond belief. Pretty gross and is more of a liqueur than a rum.

Score: 45 out of 100